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Remove Security Tool and SecurityTool (Uninstall Guide)

By on September 25, 2009 @ 11:44 AM | Last Updated: October 25, 2010 | Read 3,036,956 times.
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Security Tool, otherwise known as SecurityTool, is a rogue anti-spyware program from the same family as System Security. This program is promoted through the use of Trojans and web pop-ups. When this rogue is promoted via a Trojan it will be installed onto your computer without your permission or knowledge. When promoted via web pop-ups, you will be shown a pop-up when browsing the web that states your computer is infected. If you click on the pop-up you will be brought to a page that shows an advertisement that pretends to be a fake online anti-malware scanner. At the end of the advertisement, it will state that there are infections and then prompt you to download and install Security Tool onto your computer.

 

Security Tool screen shot
Security Tool screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 8 images you can view.

 

When the program is installed it will be configured to start automatically when you login to your computer. Once started, it will perform a scan, and when finished, state that there are numerous infections on your computer. If you attempt to remove these infections, though, it will not allow it until you first purchase the program. The reality is that the scan results are a scam and the infected files it states are on your computer are actually legitimate Windows files. With this said, please do not manually delete any of the files it states are infections as it may affect the proper operation of your computer.

When the program is running you will be shown numerous alerts on your desktop and from your Windows taskbar. These alerts will state that your computer is under attack, that the Security Tool firewall has blocked a malware program, or that active malware infections have been detected. The text of some of the alerts you may see are:

Security Tool Warning
Spyware.IEMonster activity detected. This is spyware that attempts to steal passwords from Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Outlook and other programs.
Click here to remove it immediately with SecurityTool.

and

Security Tool Warning
Some critical system files of your computer were modified by malicious program. It may cause system instability and data loss.
Click here to block unauthorised modification by removing threats (Recommended)

Just like the scan results, these security notices are not real either and are only being shown to scare you into thinking you are infected. The biggest problem this program poses is that it will not allow you to run any program other than ones required by your operating system. When you attempt to start a program when Security Tool is running it will shut down the program and state that it is infected. In reality there is nothing wrong with these programs and instead Security Tool is holding your ability to run programs ransom until you purchase it. Thankfully, we have a way of bypassing these restrictions so that you can fix your computer without paying the ransom.

If you are infected with Security Tool then please use the guide below to remove it from your computer for free. If you have already purchased the program, then we recommend that you contact your credit card company and dispute the charges as this program is a scam.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View Security Tool files.
View Security Tool Registry Information.

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

<b>Please note that the files and folders for Security Tool and SecurityTool have random names.</b>

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [4946550101] %UserProfile%\Application Data\4946550101\4946550101.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Install] %UserProfile%\Application Data\4946550101\4946550101.bat

 

Guide Updates:

09/25/09 - Initial guide creation.
10/14/09 - Updated guide to allow you to remove the program even though it does not allow you to run applications.
11/03/09 - Updated for new technique asit is bundled with vundo.
01/13/10 - Updated to contain instructions on replacing the Windows HOSTS file.
02/12/10 - Updated for new removal instructions
02/12/10 - Updated for updated removal instructions
10/25/10 - Updated removal isntructions

 


Automated Removal Instructions for Security Tool using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

 

  1. Print out these instructions as we may need to close every window that is open later in the fix.

  2. Reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking. To do this, turn your computer off and then back on and immediately when you see anything on the screen, start tapping the F8 key on your keyboard. Eventually you will be brought to a menu similar to the one below:


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Screen

    Using the arrow keys on your keyboard, select Safe Mode with Networking and press Enter on your keyboard. If you are having trouble entering safe mode, then please use the following tutorial: How to start Windows in Safe Mode

    Windows will now boot into safe mode with networking and prompt you to login as a user. Please login as the same user you were previously logged in with in the normal Windows mode. Then proceed with the rest of the steps.

  3. It is possible that the infection you are trying to remove will not allow you to download files on the infected computer. If you find this is the case when following these instructions, then you will need to download the requested files in this guide to another computer and then transfer them to the infected computer. You can transfer the files via a CD/DVD, external drive, or USB flash drive.

  4. Before we can do anything we must first end the processes that belong to Security Tool so that it does not interfere with the cleaning procedure. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.

    RKill Download Link - (Download page will open in a new tab or browser window.)

    When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe download link. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.

  5. As this infection may hide the Windows desktop, we need to open up a window that allows us to see the icons.

    If you are using Windows XP perform the following steps:
    Click on the Start button and then click on the Run menu item. When the Run box opens, type %UserProfile%\desktop in the Open: field and then press Enter on your keyboard.
    If you are in Windows Vista or Windows 7 perform the following steps.
    Click on the Start button and type %UserProfile%\desktop in the Search field at the bottom of the start menu. Then press Enter on your keyboard.
  6. You should now see a window that shows all of your desktop icons, including the iExplore.exe program. Now double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Security Tool and other Rogue programs. Please be patient while the program looks for various malware programs and ends them. When it has finished, the black window will automatically close and you can continue with the next step. If you get a message that RKill is an infection, do not be concerned. This message is just a fake warning given by Security Tool when it terminates programs that may potentially remove it. If you run into these infections warnings that close RKill, a trick is to leave the warning on the screen and then run RKill again. By not closing the warning, this typically will allow you to bypass the malware trying to protect itself so that RKill can terminate Security Tool . So, please try running RKill until malware is no longer running. You will then be able to proceed with the rest of the guide.

    Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.


  7. Now you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, from the following location and save it to your desktop:

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (Download page will open in a new window)


  8. When the file has finished downloading, look on your desktop for mbam-setup.exe and right-click on it and select Rename. The title of the program will now have a blinking cursor where you can edit the name. Please change the name of the program to Explorer.exe.

  9. After you rename the mbam-setup.exe to Explorer.exe, close all your programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.

  10. Double-click on the icon on your desktop named Explorer.exe. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

  11. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing and is at the last screen, make sure you uncheck both of the Update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware check boxes. Then click on the Finish button. If Malwarebytes' prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

    If you receive a code 2 error while installing Malwarebytes's, please press the OK button to close these errors as we will resolve them in future steps. The code 2 error will look similar to the image below.


    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Screen

  12. As this infection deletes a core executable of Malwarebytes', or does not allow it to run, we will need to download a new copy of it and put it in the C:\program files\Malwarebytes Anti-Malware\ folder. To download the file please click on the following link:

    Malwarebytes' EXE Download
    When your browser prompts you where to save it to, please save it to the C:\program files\Malwarebytes Anti-Malware\ folder. When downloading the file, it will have a random filename. Please leave the filename the way it is as it is important that it is not changed. You may want to write down the name of the file as you will need to know the name in the next step.

  13. Once the file has been downloaded, open the C:\program files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\ folder and double-click on the file you downloaded in step 14. MBAM will now start and you will be at the main program screen as shown below.


    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Screen

  14. Before you can perform a scan, you must first update the program. To do this click on the Update tab, and that at the new screen click on the Check for Updates button. Malwarebytes' will now check for new updates and download and install them as necessary. When the update is completed, you will be prompted with a message stating either that you already have the latest updates or that they have been updated. Either way, you should now click on the OK button to continue.

  15. Now click on the Scanner tab and make sure the the Perform full scan option is selected. Then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer for Security Tool related files.

  16. MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you go and do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan. When MBAM is scanning it will look like the image below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Scanning Screen

  17. When the scan is finished a message box will appear as shown in the image below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Scan Finished Screen

    You should click on the OK button to close the message box and continue with the SecurityTool removal process.

  18. You will now be back at the main Scanner screen. At this point you should click on the Show Results button.

  19. A screen displaying all the malware that the program found will be shown as seen in the image below. Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.


    MalwareBytes Scan Results


    You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the listed malware. MBAM will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the programs quarantine. When removing the files, MBAM may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot, please allow it to do so. Once your computer has rebooted, and you are logged in, please continue with the rest of the steps.

  20. When MBAM has finished removing the malware, it will open the scan log and display it in Notepad. Review the log as desired, and then close the Notepad window.

  21. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  22. As this infection also changes your Windows HOSTS file, we want to replace this file with the default version for your operating system. Please note that if you or your company has added custom entries to your HOSTS file then you will need to add them again after restoring the default HOSTS file. In order to protect itself, SecurityTool changes the permissions of the HOSTS file so you can't edit or delete it. To fix these permissions please download the following batch file and save it to your desktop:
    hosts-perm.bat Download Link
    When the file has finished downloading, double-click on the hosts-perm.bat file that is now on your desktop. If Windows asks if you if you are sure you want to run it, please allow it to run. Once it starts you will see a small black window that opens and then quickly goes away. This is normal and is nothing to be worried about. You should now be able to access your HOSTS file.

  23. We now need to delete the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\HOSTS file. Once it is deleted, download the following HOSTS file that corresponds to your version of Windows and save it in the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc folder. If the contents of the HOSTS file opens in your browser when you click on a link below then right-click on the appropriate link and select Save Target As..., if in Internet Explorer, or Save Link As.., if in Firefox, to download the file.
    Windows XP HOSTS File Download Link
    Windows Vista HOSTS File Download Link
    Windows 2003 Server HOSTS File Download Link
    Windows 2008 Server HOSTS File Download Link
    Windows 7 HOSTS File Download Link
    Your Windows HOSTS file should now be back to the default one from when Windows was first installed.

  24. You can also delete the Explorer.exe program from your desktop.

  25. As many rogues and other malware are installed through vulnerabilities found in out-dated and insecure programs, it is strongly suggested that you use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs on your computer. A tutorial on how to use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs can be found here:

    How to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector

 

Your computer should now be free of the SecurityTool program. You may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future, as if you had the real-time protection component, that comes with the paid for version, activated it would not have allowed this infection to install.

If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow the steps outlined in the topic linked below:

Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help

 


 

Associated Security Tool Files:

<b>Please note that the files and folders for Security Tool and SecurityTool have random names.</b>

%AppData%\4946550101
%AppData%\4946550101\4946550101.bat
%AppData%\4946550101\4946550101.cfg
%AppData%\4946550101\4946550101.exe
%UserProfile%\Desktop\Security Tool.lnk
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Security Tool.lnk

File Location Notes:

%UserProfile% refers to the current user's profile folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User> for Windows 2000/XP, C:\Users\<Current User> for Windows Vista/7/8, and c:\winnt\profiles\<Current User> for Windows NT.

%AppData% refers to the current users Application Data folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User>\Application Data for Windows 2000/XP. For Windows Vista and Windows 7 it is C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Roaming.

 

Associated Security Tool Windows Registry Information:

<b>Please note that the files and folders for Security Tool and SecurityTool have random names.</b>

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Security Tool
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "4946550101"

 


 

This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk.

BleepingComputer.com can not be held responsible for problems that may occur by using this information. If you would like help with any of these fixes, you can ask for malware removal assistance in our Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.

If you have any questions about this self-help guide then please post those questions in our Am I infected? What do I do? and someone will help you.


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